AP is reporting that the Dems will allow the OCS drilling ban to expire. So much for using the mortgage meltdown as an opportunity to force the GOP to back off of drill, drill, drill. Doubling down on do-nothingness turns out not to be the play.
House Democrats will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week.
Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey is telling reporters that language continuing the moratorium will be omitted this year from a spending bill to keep the government in operating funds after Congress recesses for the election.
Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign after gasoline prices soared beyond $4 a gallon this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.
The Interior Department estimates there are 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath coastal waters now off-limits.
UPDATE: Check out Phil Kerpen’s piece over on the homepage.